Re: PHIL: Egoism (Was ART: What Art Is)

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Mon May 29 2000 - 20:38:34 MDT

On Sunday, May 28, 2000 9:35 PM Emlyn wrote:
> > Why more productive? Well this one is explainable with a short analogy:
> > Who would you rather have, 100 Bill Gateses or 100 Mother Theresas?
> Every Mother Theresa after the first (at any point, the "marginal" mother
> Theresa) adds something (even if only a little) to society; a net benefit.
> Perhaps at some extreme adding extra Mother Theresas becomes a cost. What
> does a society made excludively of Mother Theresas do, there being no one
> save? However, one might safely assume that 100 is a lower quantity than
> that necessary to fall to the break-even point.
> We can say that one Bill Gates, also, is a net benefit, for argument's
> Although you can't be sure; the benefit of Bill Gates is in what he has
> built; the cost in what he has destroyed.

Given Mother Theresa openly _professed_ views on human suffering -- about
its necessity; i.e., the necessity of it in the form of the stifling poverty
and rampant disease in Third World countries and not in the sense of, say,
needing a little adversity to make us stronger -- I'd think there's a high
cost associated with even one Mother Theresa. If ever there was a character
that seems almost out of a Rand novel, it is her.

> After the first Bill, however, you end up in a blood bath. If anyone
> subscribes to the "there can only be one" philosophy of existence, it is
> Bill. So marginal Bills just add to the general multi-sided chaos &
> destruction; a net cost.

Since Gates has yet to use or advocate murder and mayhem or even to show a
bias toward such, I disagree. (This is not to put Gates on a pedestal.)

> Thus, the rational choice would be 100 Mother Theresas.

See above.

Daniel Ust

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